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Threats of Pain and Ruin
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky





















The Iconoclast

Sunday, 09 September 2007
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It is only by comparison with Tarbaby Iraq that the attempt in Afghanistan  appears to be acceptable, uncontroversial, even admirable. That effort is one intended to  "rebuild" the country (it was never built in the first place), to provide "prosperity" -- a chicken in every pot, forty acres and a mule, a Ford model-T outside every house, you name it -- inthe hopes that that permanent shouldering (for it would have  to be permanent) of the Infidel Man's Burden will change hearts, change minds. But how could it, with a Total System such as Islam, which teaches Muslims to be permanently hostile even to Infidels when those Infidels do nothing but "rebuild" their country, provide that "prosperity," etc. . The only way to change the hearts and minds of the Muslims in Afghanistan toward Infidels, is  not to do everything for those Muslims except the one thing that might improve their lives, in the long run, and our lives too -- that is, to diminish the political and social power of Islam. Infidels should be working to increase among Afghans the recognition of Islam as the vehicle of Arab supremacism, entirely indifferent to non-Arab histories and cultures, and ultimately, to recognize that the political, economic, social, moral, and intellectual failures of their society is a direct result of Islam -- and if that is not cured, all of the aid poured into the bottomless pit of this or that Muslim society by the limitlessly naive and hopeful Infidels, who keep thinking that eventually, somehow, they can make this Islamic society work, and allow for real, not false democracy, and for real economies, not dependent on undeserved manna, whether that manna be the oil of the OPEC countries, or the manna -- the disguised Jizyah -- from the Infidel lands that seem paralyzed and unable to understand that they must change their view of Islam, and stop adding to the amounts already being transferred, because of oil and gas, to the Muslim states by the non-Muslim ones.

Western troops over the horizon (Kazakhstan? India?) can intervene from time to time when they deem it necessary. They can support this or that group of locals to fight other groups of locals. They should not be building any infrastructure -- highways, or information super-highways. Afghan villagers who are subsistence farmers will be less amenable to the lure of Jihad, and less capable of participating in it. It is poverty, not plenty, that makes them less of a threat. It is their lack of access to the outside world, through satellite television and the Internet, that makes them less of a threat, say, than the rich Arabs and Iranians, or others who, though not rich, have access to such Western technology and to the Islamic propaganda disseminated by such technology.

Iraq is a big tarbaby, Afghanistan is a small one. But both are tarbabies.

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Posted on 09/09/2007 2:04 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 09 September 2007
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“Your manuscript is utterly hopeless as a candidate for our list. I never thought the subject worth a damn to begin with and I don’t think it’s worth a damn now. Lay off, MacDuff.”

Now, that’s a rejection letter.

More letters from Alfred A. Knopf Inc. here.

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Posted on 09/09/2007 11:32 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Sunday, 09 September 2007
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"I want to be clear about one thing. If we have actionable intelligence about imminent terrorist activity and the Pakistan government refuses to act, we will," Edwards said at a campaign rally at Pace University in New York. --from this news item

One would feel better if Democratic candidates, instead of attempting to prove themselves capable of a "muscular" foreign policy by talking of what they would do to Pakistan, to start with opposing the war in Iraq for the only reason that should count: that it squanders American resources, and wastes an opportunity to exploit pre-existing fissures, sectarian and ethnic, within the Camp of Islam. Furthermore, the recognition that the ideology of Islam, the Total System of Islam, is not a temporary but a permanent threat to all Infidels, and not one that will be "solved" or "cured" by this or that impressive-sounding "invasion" -- no invasions of any Muslim states are either necessary or desirable, but bombing from the air, to deprive them of certain kinds of weaponry, and efforts to diminish the Money Weapon, to counter campaigns of Da'wa which so far have gone unopposed and, until recently, practically unnoticed, and finally, the halt and reversal of the demographic changes in the Infidel lands that threaten them, in an unprecedented fashion, from within, and inexorably if new measures are not taken that will require a new understanding of what, in order to protect Infidel legal and political institutions, to protect artistic expression and the advancement of science, will be necessary and, if rightly understood, be regarded by all fair-minded people as perfectly justified.

Enough talk about getting "tough" in the Bush vein. Give us something we need: an analysis of Islam, its texts, its tenets, its attitudes, its atmospherics, and then some concrete measures -- so many of them have been repeatedly laid out here -- beginning with how to pluck a "victory" for the situation in Tarbaby Iraq, a "victory" that depends only on seeing things aright, analyzing them aright, and then promptly withdrawing based on this new, much harder, less innocent and more ruthless view of things -- as is needed, from here on out.

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Posted on 09/09/2007 11:23 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 09 September 2007
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BEIRUT: The Lebanese Army killed one Fatah al-Islam militant in the village of Bhannine Friday and captured four more near the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp, as troops continued pursuing escaped militants, an army source told The Daily Star.  -- from this news item

This does not weaken Hezbollah. Nor does it turn the government of Siniora into a trustworthy friend of the West, or even a trustworthy defender of Lebanon. Its wonderfulness is a most local and transient passing illusion. Its rhetoric remains classic in, for example, in its absurd anti-Israel rhetoric, and nothing else can or should be expected of it. Good that the Lebanese Army crushed these people, bad if it leads to a mistaken trust, in both Washington and Paris, for the appalling Siniora and his government, or for those who, because Rafik Hariri was killed, see him as some kind of good guy. In the Middle East Infidels should get used to seeing, as in Iraq between Sunnis and Shi'a, or between Iran and Saudi Arabia, two or more groups that are mortal enemies of each other, but also enemies of the larger Infidel world.

Any bunf coming out of Washington about the true-blue ally or "friend" in Beirut is misplaced. Cast a cold eye, an eye as cold as the one that Charles Malik, Lebanon's great statesman, would cast, were he alive today.

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Posted on 09/09/2007 11:13 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 09 September 2007
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"Make of this what you will."
-- comment to the latest locating by this or that intelligence service of Bin Laden

What should be made of it? Nothing much, except that the absurd hypertrophied attention to Bin Laden continues to mislead, sometimes innocently, those who confuse Jihad with "terrorism" (one instrument of Jihad among many), who confuse "terrorism" with Bin Laden, and who therefore think that Bin Laden this, and Bin Laden that, is what matters. A whole industry, and a small army of I-seen-my-opportunities-and-I-took-'em "experts" -- ranging from Peter Bergen, who Interviewed Bin Laden. to Michael Scheuer, who was the C.I.A. Bin Laden Specialist, have been dining out ever since on their supped expertise on "terrorism" and hence, on "Jihad."

And Bush, who is terminally confused but unfortunately it is an entire country -- the United States -- and Infidels everywhere who are paying for that terminal confusion, himself endows Bin Laden with quite unnecessary significance.

Eventually Bin Laden will be captured, or will die. So what? What does that mean for the Jihad, which is a permanent duty of Islam? It will mean nothing to the Islamic side. But, unfortunately, it may be taken by the idiotized Infidel side to be of great significance, of meaning that the "war" is coming to "an end." There is no end to this war. Never. It is a perfectly manageable war, especially if the Infidels show that they cannot be fooled, that they will not continue as before (especially as regards Muslim immigration, or Muslim attempts to change, in the slightest, our own political and legal institutions and understandings, and attempts as well to dictate, in the universities and in the schools, what Infidels are allowed to learn about Islam).

Bin Laden needs to be ridimensionato -- cut down to size, seen in due proportion, not because Islam is not a threat, but because it is.

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Posted on 09/09/2007 11:09 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 09 September 2007
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A writer should be versatile. From The Spectator:

E Annie Proulx is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain: she has also won the PEN/Faulkner Award, the O. Henry Award and the Dos Passos Prize, and is thus one of the most lauded of all American writers. But her literary apprenticeship was spent writing a number of practical self-help manuals. They include Sweet and Hard Cider: Making It, Using It and Enjoying It; The Complete Dairy Foods Cookbook: How to Make Everything from Cheese to Custard in Your Kitchen; The Gourmet Gardener: Growing Choice Fruits and Vegetables with Spectacular Results; and Plan and Make Your Own Fences and Gates, Walkways, Walls and Drives. The back cover of the latter informs us that ‘Annie keeps livestock, hunts, fishes, plays the fiddle and is an expert on country crafts. She also writes books…’ It begins with a chapter entitled ‘Give In to the Urge to Arrange and Improve’, which is, in a nutshell, the Tao of Proulx. In her hands, DIY, far from being a wearisome chore, is the height of voluptuousness.

Proulx isn't the only versatile writer. Proust, with whom Proulx must on no account be confused, cut his writerly teeth on "Marcel's Memorable Madeleines - Biscuits to Melt in your Mouth". And Shakespeare wrote some handy books of household hints, later overshadowed by his plays:

"Out, Damned Spot - Stain Removal Solutions for All Occasions"
"Out, Vile Jelly - Jelly-Making, Pickling and Preserving Solutions for All the Family"
"Out, Out, Brief Candle - Energy Saving Solutions"

Some have mischievously suggested that the third of these had something to do with nuns. Honi soit qui mal y pense.

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Posted on 09/09/2007 10:02 AM by Mary Jackson
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Sunday, 09 September 2007
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My mentor Dot Wordsworth pointed out the obvious: cliché mongers no longer say "situation". It then occurred to me that they no longer say "at this moment in time" or "at the end of the day". Ongoing is still ongoing, but it is giving ground to "going forward". Over to Dot:

You could say we're in a can't-see-the-wood-for-the-trees situation. Or rather, I hope you wouldn't say that. There was a time, 30 years ago, when "situation" was all the rage. Everything was described as some kind of "situation". I thought we'd never lose the infuriating cliché. But we did. Like a headache, it lifted gradually, unnoticed, till suddenly we realised it had gone.

The same will happen, I hope, with the stupid use of "like", and the equally stupid use of "so", as in: "You're so going to regret this." This is not a random error, but a voguish fashion, like young men combing their hair up into a ridge in the middle of their heads. It looks silly to me now; in future years, it will look silly to them, like the mullet haircut in old photos.

We human beings are half parrots and half angels. To use the vogue clichés of grammar is to hop about in a cage like a parrot. To use grammar inconspicuously well is like using the laws of aerodynamics to soar into the heavens. Language is the means by which we communicate the most brilliant ideas and touch hearts.

Earlier in this Telegraph piece, Dot Wordsworth rails against the modern use of "like":

A repulsive piece of grammar is like a mangled frog left by the cat in the middle of the kitchen lino. It is not necessarily ill-intentioned, but the repellent effect increases according to the frequency of the offence.

Take "like", as in, "I was like, 'Wow!' He was like, 'Come off it'." It is hardly a bit of grammar at all, more a kind of oral punctuation. The people who use it, usually young or would-be young, are extremely annoying. But a fat new book, the Cambridge Grammar of English, calmly notes that "like" is used to introduce direct speech, instead of "said". That is not the real crime.

This new construction is at fault because it conveys abstract emotion by acting it out in invented dialogue. Instead of saying, "I was astonished," the speaker says, "I was like, 'Wow!' " That wouldn't be too bad once, but the sort of people who do it, do it all the time. It is more tedious than the old bad habit of reporting a conversation in the form: "So she says to me, 'You never.' And I says to her, 'I did.' "

I think "like" used to mean "said" is on its way out. I, for one, will be glad to see the back of it. I wonder, however, to what extent my dislike of the expression is fuelled by my irritation with the speakers - generally stupid teenagers with back-to-front baseball caps, ingrowing i-Pods, inflated A-Levels and terrible taste in music. It is hard if not impossible to separate a usage from the user. Conversely, if someone who normally writes well uses a word or phrase, perhaps it may be redeemed. I dislike intensely the transitive use of "debate", as in "to debate somebody". To my mind this is wrong: you debate with somebody about something. It is also an Americanism, encroaching on the Queen's English, and I am resistant to those in principle. Yet Robert Spencer, who otherwise writes very well, regularly uses "debate" like this. There will come a time when this usage will be commonplace in The Spectator and The Telegraph - although I suspect Dot Wordsworth won't be in the vanguard of this change - and it will seem perfectly normal and acceptable over here, as it is over there.

Thus American English encroaches: it has an impact on British English, then it impacts on it, and finally, horribile dictu, it impacts it.

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Posted on 09/09/2007 6:03 AM by Mary Jackson
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Sunday, 09 September 2007
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Of moderate Muslims a Spectator writer said last week: never have so few been sought by so many. Rod Liddle argues in The Sunday Times (h/t Alan) that there is a blurred line between moderate and extremist Muslims:

Which of the following do you think is, or are, the more satanic: football, the Royal College of Music, taking the dog for a walk, or Jews? I’m looking for spiritual guidance here, please.

I’ve tried ringing Sheikh Riyadh ul Haq, the eminent Muslim scholar, to find out but no reply. I think, reading between the lines of his various speeches, it’s Jews. But one can’t be sure. For example, “Jews” and “music” are sort of synonymous; music is part of the “satanic” web by which Jews spread their filth through the world, as I am sure you’re aware. So pointless to distinguish between them, really.

Old Riyadh – who used to operate out of Birmingham Central Mosque until an unseemly argument over one of his wives, allegedly – is not just any old Islamic scholar, but perhaps the most important one in Britain today. He is the leading theologian of the Deobandi sect that controls many of Britain’s mosques (charitable institutions subsidised by you and me).

Aside from music, football, walking the dog and Jews, Riyadh also takes a pretty tough stance on Hindus, homosexuals, Christians and immodest women. He’s not going to be a big fan of Joan Rivers, is he?

His favourite things, meanwhile, seem to be long beards, armed jihad, martyrdom, the Muslim Council of Britain (which quite likes him, in return) and marrying lots of women. Does this make him a hardliner?

The same rather pointless dispute was occasioned when Yusuf al Qaradawi, the Egyptian Islamic cleric, was invited here a few years back (at Ken Livingstone’s instigation) to share his views with us all. "Extremist!" came the cry, citing Qaradawi's support for the execution of homosexuals, physical chastisement of women, female circumcision, suicide attacks against Israeli civilians and so on.

However, as Britain’s Muslims pointed out, in the Islamic world Qaradawi is indeed a venerated moderate; he condemned the 9/11 attack, supported the war against the Taliban and while he thinks it’s okay to smack women about a bit when they’ve been stroppy and disobedient, he strongly advises against using a stick to do so. A swift punch or a kick should suffice. Ergo, he is the Roy Jenkins of the Islamic world.

The terms moderate and extremist are not much use to us when considering Islam; they sort of merge with one another. You can be shocked, if you like, that almost half of Britain’s Muslims attend mosques where Riyadh’s views are de jour. But you may then wonder what goes on in the other 50%: do they have “hardliner” mullahs or not?

Incidentally, you can enjoy ul Haq’s lectures by ordering cassettes from online-Islamic-store.com – “your one-stop shop to Islamic shopping”. There’s some useful stuff on how to sneeze in an Islamic manner, too.

Rod Liddle should not be surprised by any of this. Islam does not make a distinction between the serious and the trivial; it is as important to put  the right shoe on first - or is it the left? - as it is to stone adulterers. And there is a difference in degree but not in kind between "moderate" and "extreme" Islam. The only distinction that matters in Islam is between believer and infidel.

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Posted on 09/09/2007 4:25 AM by Mary Jackson
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Sunday, 09 September 2007
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According to the website This is London (the London Evening Standard on line, and a twin publication of the Daily and Sunday Mail) the men arrested on terrorism charges in Denmark this week were planning attacks on embassies in Copenhagen, including those of  Britain and the US. The Copenhagen Post is a weekday publication so I don’t have any Danish news in English to cross reference yet.
Terrorists plotting a suicide attack against the British Embassy in Denmark were rounded up last week as they put the finishing touches to a devastating bomb.
The men are believed to be the remnants of the so-called "007" terror network, co-ordinated by London based Islamic militants using a series of secret internet sites.
Senior intelligence sources say the group planned to target Western embassies in Copenhagen with the British and American missions at the top of their list.
The arrests came one day before police in Frankfurt arrested three men on suspicion of planning a "massive" attack on US facilities in Germany.
The men, who are aged between 19 and 29 and from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Turkey, are believed to be part of an Al Qaeda network that had received orders from a group of British-based cyber terrorists.
The British group's activities were stopped by an MI5 investigation earlier this year when three men were jailed for encouraging suicide missions using online forums and websites.
Their websites were also used as a secure communications centre by several senior Al Qaeda operatives, including two Bosnian-based terror chiefs known as "Maximus" and "Danish Turk". The pair were jailed over a plot to mount a suicide attack against a Western embassy in Sarajevo.
And The Mail on Sunday understands that two of those arrested in Copenhagen had been in regular telephone contact with them and under longterm surveillance by Danish intelligence.
It was also the Bosnian pair's arrest that led to MI5's exposure of the British internet gang. The group - led by an IT expert using the online name Irhabi007, Arabic for Terrorist007 - set up websites from their bedrooms in London and Kent.
Three men, Tariq Al-Daour, 21, Younis Tsouli, 23, and Waseem Mughal, 24, were jailed in London in July after pleading guilty to inciting terrorist murder and conspiracy to defraud.
After the Copenhagen arrests Jakob Scharf, head of the Danish intelligence service PET, said: "With the arrests we have prevented a terror attack. They also have been producing an unstable explosive in a densely populated area."  
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Posted on 09/09/2007 2:51 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Sunday, 09 September 2007
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From the BBC
Members of al-Qaeda's North Africa wing say they carried out two suicide attacks that have killed at least 50 people in Algeria in the past two days.
The group, which calls itself al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, made the claim in an internet statement.
Hospital officials have warned the number of the dead could rise in the latest bombing in Dellys, 100km (60 miles) east of Algiers.
It comes just two days after more than 20 people died in Batna when a man blew himself up among a crowd that was expecting the arrival of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
More than 30 people were killed in similar bombings in Algiers in April.
The militant group was previously known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) but changed its name when it joined forces with al-Qaeda last year.
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Posted on 09/09/2007 2:31 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 08 September 2007
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(IsraelNN.com) Undercover IDF soldiers arrested a senior Hamas terrorist responsible for the kidnapping of IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit in the heart of Gaza Friday night.

The IDF has not yet confirmed the reports, but Hamas-run and Israeli news agencies are reporting that Israeli soldiers disguised as local Arabs arrested senior terrorist Muhawesh al-Kadi near the Rafiah Crossing.

The operation was carried out nearly a mile inside Gaza, in an area heavily populated by armed Hamas terrorists belonging to the group’s heavily supplied Executive Force.

Palestinian Authority sources said the undercover soldiers were riding a donkey-pulled wagon carting groceries and even conversed with local Arabs before carrying out the arrest. Al-Kadi was working on a tract of land near his house at the time.

According to Hamas, the IDF men wore Hamas Executive Force uniforms and drove a Subaru. Hamas members first believed al-Kadi had been apprehended by Fatah members, following clashes between the two terrorist groups Friday. They said they were planning on launching a reprisal against Fatah when they learned that those who apprehended the Hamas man fled toward the border with Israel and were escorted by IAF helicopters.

Israeli government radio reported that the car holding al-Kadi was driven to the Gaza airport at Dahaniyeh, where IAF helicopters picked him and the soldiers up.

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Posted on 09/08/2007 5:42 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Saturday, 08 September 2007
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The Waltham Forest Guardian has a brief description of the meeting.
A FIERCE public debate was held tonight over plans to build Europe's biggest mosque on Waltham Forest's doorstep.
The £100 million structure, dubbed a "mega mosque", would be the biggest in Europe, having space for 10,000 worshippers with a facility to increase this later. It has been earmarked for a site at Abbey Mills, in Stratford.
The mosque would serve as the UK and European headquarters of the Islamic group Tablighi Jamaat.
Tonight the Christian People's Alliance leader on Newham Council Alan Craig, and Tablighi Jamaat supporter Abdul Khaliq Mian, locked horns at a public debate in Stratford.
Cllr Craig has called for a public inquiry into Tablighi Jamaat following alleged terror links. At the debate he accused Tablighi Jamaat of having a "them and us" mentality that would damage community relations. He also criticised the group for keeping low-profile and not taking part in debates. He said that the idea of an "Islamic" hub to the Olympics goes against everything the Games is supposed to stand for. He also said that the mosque is likely to have been funded by Saudi Arabian money and criticised what he sees as that nation's religious intolerance.
Cllr Craig also alleged that Tablighi Jamaat had broken planning regulations on its existing mosque on the Abbey Mills site and had not cleaned up contamination.
Although supporting the group, Mr Mian was not speaking as a Tablighi Jamaat representative as the organisation had declined to attend the debate.
Mr Mian also said that the Christian People's Alliance was not an inclusive organisation itself.
I expect more detail on other sites during the week.

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Posted on 09/08/2007 3:49 PM by esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 08 September 2007
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The Sublime.
Wells Bombardier in full pint bottles.

The Ridiculous
Tescos Value Bitter, 93p for 4 tins and, I would imagine, very much like
making love in a punt.
 

 After a 3-0 England victory this evening I know which one I am going to be drinking later!

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Posted on 09/08/2007 1:50 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 08 September 2007
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From “In a Tunisian Oasis” (1936)

 

Talking to an Islamically educated Arab is like talking to a pious European of the fourteenth century. Every phenomenon is referred by them to its final cause—to God. About the immediate causes of things—precisely how they happen—they seem to feel not the slightest interest. Indeed, it is not even admitted that there are such things as immediate causes: God is directly responsible for everything. “Do you think it will rain?” you ask pointing to menacing clouds overhead. “If God wills,” is the answer. You pass the native hospital. “Are the doctors good?” “In our country,” the Arab gravely replies, in the tone of Solomon, “we say that doctors are of no avail. If Allah wills that a man die, he will die. If not, he will recover.” All of which is profoundly true, so true, indeed, that is not worth saying. To the Arab, however, it seems the last word in human wisdom. For him, God is the perfectly adequate explanation of everything; he leaves fate to do things unassisted, in its own way—that is to say, from the human point of view, the worst way.

 

It is difficult for us to realize nowadays that our fathers once thought much as the Arabs do now. As late as the seventeenth century, the chemist Boyle found it necessary to protest against what  I may call this Arabian view of things. “For to explicate a phenomenon,” he wrote, “it is not enough to ascribe it to one general efficient, but we must intelligibly show the particular manner, how that general cause produces the proposed effect. He must be a very dull inquirer who, demanding an account of the phenomena of a watch, shall rest satisfied with being told that it is an engine made by a watchmaker; thought nothing be declared thereby of the structure and coaptation of the spring, wheels, balance, etc., and the manner how they act on one another so as to make the needle point out the true time of the day.”

 

The Arabs were once the continuators of the Greek tradition; they produced men of science. They have relapsed—all except those who are educated according to Western methods—into pre-scientific fatalism, with its attendant incuriosity and apathy. They are the “dull inquirers who, demanding an account of the phenomena of a watch, shall rest satisfied with being told that it is an engine made by a watchmaker.” The result of their satisfaction with this extremely unsatisfactory answer is that their villages look like the ruins of villages, that the blow-flies sit undisturbedly feeding on the eyelids of those whom Allah has predestined to blindness,  that half their babies die…

 

From Religion and Temperament (1948)

 

Mohammedanism…in its primitive form…is hard, militant, and puritanical; it encourages the spirit of martyrdom, is eager to make proselytes, and has no qualms about levying “holy wars” and conducting persecutions. Some centuries after the prophet’s death it developed the Sufi school of mysticism—a school whose strict Islamic orthodoxy its theologians have always had some difficulty in defending.

 

From a Letter to Norman Douglas, June 26, 1925

 

One winter I shall certainly go and spend some [more] months there [in Tunisia], about the time of the date harvest—tho’ I have no doubt that the site of the Arabs picking and packing the dates would be enough to make one’s gorge turn every time one set eyes on that fruit for the rest of one’s life. How tremendously European one feels when one has seen these devils in their native muck! And to think that we are busily teaching them all the mechanical arts of peace and war which gave us, in the past, our superiority over their numbers! In fifty years time, it seems to me, Europe can’t fail to be wiped out by these monsters. Intanto

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Posted on 09/08/2007 11:10 AM by Andrew Bostom
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Saturday, 08 September 2007
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Would we 'eck as like, says The Telegraph:

Three months after the election, there is still no Belgian government, which prompts the question: would it matter if there were never a Belgian government? Even that worthiest of publications, the Economist, thinks that the over-governed, distempered kingdom may have served its purpose.

What has any of this to do with Britain? Well, Belgium was partly our fault. Determined to prevent the Channel ports falling into French hands, we carved out a territory in 1831 and placed a tame princeling on its throne.

Ever since, Belgium has survived by bribing and threatening its component peoples to stay together - a miniature EU, as it were. Not that the Belgian ruling house has historically shown much gratitude to Britain, intriguing with the Germans in both world wars.

Flanders, on the other hand, was a long-standing friend. Let's bring it back.

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Posted on 09/08/2007 10:04 AM by Mary Jackson
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Saturday, 08 September 2007
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Coinage, of words and of the realm, decimal, vigesimal, tolfraedic, schmolfraedic and skolfraedic, has jingled and jangled on this website from time to time. In this week’s Spectator, Paul Johnson writes about gold, sovereigns and guineas.

 

I like the word “guinea”, whether standing alone or coupled with fowl or pig. Unsentimental as I am about money, I like the idea of the guinea - twenty-one shillings – being a cut above the humble, prosaic pound. If someone thanks me for my advice I like to say: “That will be five guineas, please.” It sounds better, and it is better, than five pounds, and, since nobody is ever going to pay up, I may as well ask for more. Paul Johnson gives an interesting potted history of the guinea:

In 1663, with Charles II on the throne [a Good Thing – M. J.], a new gold coin was minted. It was called a guinea because the gold came from the West African coast where it was mined and brought to England by a chartered company. On one side of the coin was an elephant, the company’s stamp. Then in 1675 a castle was added — hence the many pub signs of elephant and castle, for the guinea proved popular. Originally worth one pound, it had risen in value to 30 shillings by 1694. William III’s currency reform tried to peg it at 21s 6d, and it was finally fixed at 21 shillings in 1717.

There it remained for a century, but even by English illogical standards it was an anomaly, especially when paper pound notes became common. So the last guinea was minted in 1813. It was replaced four years later by the sovereign, worth from the start exactly 20 shillings or a pound. The tail-side, in the form of St George and the Dragon, was designed by a great numismatic artist, Benedetto Pistrucci, master of this difficult skill. His design was so successful and practical that it has lasted two centuries. But the guinea did not disappear — far from it. In Rowlandson’s beautiful drawing of the Duchess of Devonshire and her sister gambling, Lady Bessborough is shown getting coins out of her filigree-net purse, while the duchess shakes the dice vigorously. Those coins were guineas, the standard unit when stakes were high. And guineas continued to be used in Brooks’s and gambling halls, even after the sovereign came in. It was considered vulgar (we would say non-U) to play in pounds.

So genteel England developed a double standard coinage of account. Guineas gradually ceased to circulate. But bills were still presented in guineas by professional men: architects, lawyers, doctors and other people who liked to think themselves gentlemen. Indeed tradesmen who were far from being genteel continued to charge in guineas for a century more. I remember the first suit I ordered and paid for myself cost £7.7s — seven guineas — and some tailors and shoemakers continued to charge in guineas until quite recently. Horse-coping, that dark and devilish trade, was another conducted in guineas until the end of the 19th century, as we learn from the stories of Surtees and Somerville and Ross. When buying a horse there was always a chance of getting the seller to knock off the shillings and charge in pounds — a discount of 5 per cent. This applied to the art trade too.

I am no gentleman, and have never bought – or “coped*” with – a horse, but I beg to quibble. If you knock off a shilling from a guinea, you have a discount of 1 ¸ 21, that is 4.76%. Confusingly, if you add 5% to a pound, you get a guinea, or 21 shillings. A similar point of confusion was raised some time ago by John Derbyshire in the context of sales tax (UK Value Added Tax). A horse-trader, like his spiritual descendant the used car salesman, might not be too scrupulous in bandying about a nice round number like 5%, and a gentleman might not care to argue.

 

I regret the physical disappearance of coins like the sovereign, which I glimpsed occasionally in my childhood. When I was born we were still on the Gold Standard, the best guarantee, to my mind, that there is against the horrendous scourge of economic life, inflation. Now our currency is strong we should go back on it, and mint a splendid new gold coin, to be called a Thatcher, with her as Britannia on one side and the Queen’s head on the other. It would sell at a premium.

 

I would be delighted to see such a coin, perhaps for the £5 coin if and when it comes out. We have lost some old coins, certainly, but gained new ones. I particularly like the £1 coin (once reviled, especially in Scotland) and the £2 coin.

*Cope, meaning "trade", "barter" - I'll eat my hat if this isn't cognate with German kaufen "buy".

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Posted on 09/08/2007 8:21 AM by Mary Jackson
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Saturday, 08 September 2007
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Fritz Gelowicz is a type, the same type as John Walker Lindh or David Hicks or for that matter Yvonne Ridley. He is psychically marginal. Confused, desiring to Be Enrolled In A Cause, to have that Total System not only comfortably there to tell him what to do, but to justify his miserable existence and make him think that everything he now does is part of a grand scheme. He is now allowed to indulge himself as he may have already before, in anti-social behavior, because now that behavior is not bad but good, directed at doing damage to Infidels. There are many such types all over the Western world. And Islam's missionaries who are all over the place --every Believer is supposed to be a missionary -- are quick to spot them, and to work on them.

Then there are the targetted groups of the economically marginal, those alienated, or with a grievance, against the larger society -- such as the black prisoners who have been the targets of Muslim proselytizers, or certain groups of immigrants in this country.

Neither group need be given the real, the full Islam. For example, it is doubtful that Muslim missionaries are quick to explain that Islam forbids not only statuary and most painting, but also most (and for some all) music. If that were known initially, a great many would-be converts might stop right there.

But no limits are placed by Infidel authorities on these efforts to win over converts who then become a danger to all Infidels, whether or not they actively participate in violent Jihad at the moment. They swell the ranks of Muslims, and from those ranks come those who do participate directly in violent Jihad -- if not today, then tomorrow; if not in this generation, then possibly in the next. Jihad is not merely violence or terrorism; it is everything that removes obstacles to the spread and ultimately dominance by Islam, by Muslims. That has to be understood.

It is not understood by most of those "taking a leadership role" in the Western world. They are too fearful or too greedy or too unwilling to change their naive fixed views or simply too dumb --- timidity, cupidity, rigidity, stupidity, the Esdrujula Explanation -- to fulfill their responsibilities to both instruct and protect us. An entire generation of those in the political class must be replaced.

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Posted on 09/08/2007 8:10 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 08 September 2007
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"There are no taxes in Islam, but rather there is a limited Zakaat [alms] totaling 2.5 percent.”
-- from the speech of Osama Bin Laden

In the crazy hodge-podge that makes up his Invitation to Islam (to be followed by an Invitation to a Beheading) Osama Bin Laden has decided to appeal to the low-tax voters, libertarians, ronpaulites, admirers of dinesh d'souza. Bizarre of course.

Muslims traditionally have lived off the non-Muslims in the lands they conquered. Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, Hindus paid the Jizyah. In India after tens of millions of Hindus had been killed, the Mughal rulers ceased to engage in such wholesale slaughter, and also, once they had a sufficient local population of Hindus who had been forcibly converted -- out of fear, out of a desire to avoid the miserable condition of dhimmi (or zimmi) -- allowed the Hindus to be treated as if they were People of the Book, and remain alive so long as they fulfilled the duties of a dhimmi. In that way the Muslim rulers could continue to live on the Jizyah paid by these "zimmis."

They also relied, when full-scale military conquest of Infidel territory was no longer possible, on constant raiding parties, up and down the coasts of Europe, even as far as Ireland or, in one case, Iceland. They looted, they killed, they kidnapped non-Muslims and brought them back to be enslaved. In the west, and in the east, where raiding parties would seize Slavs (hence "slaves") and also Georgian and Circassian women for the harems.

And now Muslim states exist either on the manna of oil wealth, which they did nothing to deserve and which is merely the result of an accident of geology, or where oil is lacking, on the disguised Jizyah of aid from Infidel states (instead of other, but rich, Muslim states). And within much of Dar al-Harb, the Lands of the Infidels where Islam does not yet rule, many Muslims have settled and taken every conceivable advantage, legal and illegal, of the extensive benefits offered by the generous, and innocent, states of Western Europe -- and indeed, raise huge families on those benefits paid for by Infidel taxpayers, while those Infidels, given the expense in Western Europe of raising a child, and the widespread unsettlement and unrecognized apprehension over this same growing Muslim population, have fewer and fewer children themselves. And thus demographic conquest by Muslims continues, unopposed and indeed inadvertently supported by Western welfare states.

"No taxes"? Ask once the Infidels cease paying the Jizyah, or that oil ceases to be quite so abundant. Then the Muslim states will undoubtedly return to the condition of wretchedness that they were in when the Infidels did not supply, as they have for the past century at least, good government, stability, encouragement of agriculture (see the Maghreb, see Egypt under Cromer), the rule of law, and all the other things that allowed economic development and that will not take place, cannot take place, under Muslim rule -- insofar as those Muslims remain devotees of inshallah-fatalism.

Just look at the Muslim oil states. They have received ten trillion dollars, entirely without any effort on their part, since 1973 alone. What have they done with it? They remain hopelessly dependent on armies of foreign wage-slaves. They have failed to create modern, self-sustaining economies. They live on oil, and on the rents from oil. They produce nothing. They offer no services. They do not share their wealth with other, poorer Muslims but always expect the Infidels to support those other Muslims -- and the Infidels, so far, have been insanely happy to oblige.

"no taxes in Islam..."

Osama Bin Laden will apparently try anything. Go ahead. Read His Lips. Give him your vote. Show how impressive you found his campaign speech for the Islam Party, its workers tirelessly treading the True and Shining Path, the sendero luminoso, fi sabil Allah.

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Posted on 09/08/2007 7:12 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 08 September 2007
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Richard Littlejohn on a little light Islamic reading (h/t Alan):

Borrowed any good books from your local public library lately? I'm told Women Who Deserve To Go To Hell is proving especially popular in Tower Hamlets. It may not have been shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize, but it apparently flies off the shelves in East London.  

The crazy guys at Hibt ut-Tahrir are behind Funds In The Khilafah State, which contains a handy guide for Muslims on shedding the blood and seizing the property of apostates. That, too, has found its way into the public libraries of Tower Hamlets, where you can also lay your hands on books by Abdullah al-Faisal and Abu Hamza, aka Captain Hook. Both men have been convicted of terrorism offences and are currently behind bars.

[...]

Call me old-fashioned, but not so long ago the only mention of Captain Hook you'd find in the library was in a dog-eared copy of Peter Pan, in the children's section.

I'd love to have been in the meeting at which the librarians decided to stock these books.  

"Right, we've got to get that new Ian McEwan and the Sebastian Faulks. Oh, and the Monica Ali, she's very popular with our borrowers in the Brick Lane branch. The Guardian gave her four stars on Saturday.  

"How about Captain Hook? No, not the JM Barrie version, that mullah from Finsbury Park. What's it called? The Martyrs' Guide To Throat-Slitting, I think it is. It was Pick of The Week in the Independent on Sunday.

[...]

The ubiquitous Mr Bean lookalike Inayat Bunglawala, of the Muslim Council, now back in favour with ministers after a brief spat, said it was right that public money should be spent on these books.  

"These are authors who are widely read in the Muslim world and it is not surprising that they are stocked in areas where there happens to be the highest concentration of Muslims.  

"It does not necessarily mean you agree with them. It is part of a free society."  

Pity that tolerance doesn't extend to Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses, or Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

Less of the "Prophet", please, Richard. He isn't a prophet. I'm sure Richard Littlejohn doesn't think he is, but the phrase "Prophet Mohammed" is used so often, unthinkingly that its insidious effects are not realised.

Perhaps some latter-day Joe Orton should deface the books in a subversive way. Would he be prosecuted for writing "perv" in a book that says girls should get "married" at nine?

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Posted on 09/08/2007 5:43 AM by Mary Jackson
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Saturday, 08 September 2007
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 From RTE News, Ireland's national TV.

Two people have been killed and more than 20 wounded in a suicide car bomb attack on a naval barracks in Dellys, on Algeria's east coast.
Security sources revised down an earlier death toll of 10, saying some of the seriously wounded had been counted among the dead in the confusion at the scene, but they said the number was expected to rise again.
On Thursday a suicide bomber left 22 people dead in a failed assassination bid against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Batna, in the east of the country.

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Posted on 09/08/2007 5:08 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 08 September 2007
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The Scotsman has details of the on going trial of Mohammed Atif Siddique on trial at the High Court in Glasgow.
ISLAMIST propaganda videos found on the computer of a student facing terrorism charges were accessed through password-protected websites open for only a few days a year, a court heard yesterday.
The jury also viewed graphic footage showing the apparent beheading of an American hostage.
The video, showing someone sawing at the neck of Paul Marshal Johnson, was posted on the website of US terror expert Evan Kohlmann, the High Court in Glasgow heard.
Mohammed Atif Siddique, 21, from Alva in Clackmannanshire, faces a series of terrorism charges including possessing and distributing material likely to be useful to those preparing acts of terrorism.
He is also accused of a breach of the peace by claiming to be a member of al-Qaeda and threatening to become a suicide bomber.
Mr Kohlmann, told the court the videos were from Taleban and al-Qaeda propaganda productions.
One of the videos shown was called Qahr Us Saleeb, which translates as "Crushing the Cross", Mr Kohlmann said.  
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Posted on 09/08/2007 2:36 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 08 September 2007
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More from The Times on the ultra-conservative Deobandi movement.
Yesterday The Times revealed the growing domination of Britain’s mosques by the ultra-conservative Deobandi movement. Today, our correspondent exposes extensive links between British Deobandis and the sect’s radical leadership in Pakistan
Here is a tale of two young British Muslims who travelled to Pakistan.
Yasir is 19, comes from Rotherham, supports Liverpool FC (Liverpool have more supporters from outside Liverpool than within the town. His home team Rotherham United, the Millers, are holding their own this season in Coca-Cola League 2, the old 4th Division, with a gate of 6000 on a good day, but I digress) and is studying Islam in a Pakistani madrassa that will teach him to hate the West.
There are two reasons why he should not be in a Deobandi seminary in the teeming, dusty backstreets of Karachi. The first is that Pakistan banned all foreign students from its religious schools in 2005 after it emerged that two of the bombers responsible for the July 7 attacks on London that year had spent time in the country.
And the second? Yasir is miserable. He told The Times last month that he was desperate to “get home”, was struggling to cope with life in Karachi and uncomfortable with the seminary’s anti-Western agenda.
Yasir was seven months into an eight-year course of study when he met The Times and during the brief interview his eyes were continually darting from side to side as if in fear that his words might be overheard. He was at first hungry for news of home — what were Liverpool’s coming fixtures, how were England doing in the cricket? — but his strong Yorkshire accent often dropped to a barely audible whisper.
Why was he here? “I don’t know that myself.” What was wrong with Karachi? “It’s crap.” What did he miss about Britain? “Everything. It’s too hard for me here. I don’t like to live here, man. You can’t do anything here. It’s not England. It’s Pakistan.”
. . . for incendiary rhetoric there was Muhammed, a young man from Manchester who was visiting a friend in the seminary’s fatwa (religious edict) department.
Muhammed, who would not give his full name, teaches English to asylum-seekers and, in stark contrast to Yasir, exemplifies Deobandis’ deep hostility towards the West. He was eager to tell The Times that the public had been entirely misled about the real perpetrators of the July 7 attack on London. According to Muhammed, the Government, Mossad, assorted Jews, freemasons and Scotland Yard had conspired to commit mass murder to demonise Muslims. “These are not my opinions. These are facts. The aim was to create terror in the hearts of the British people in order to control them,” he said.
The media were also part of the cover-up. “Why don’t you tell the public that they are being brainwashed and that there is a conspiracy to destroy Islam, as the Prophet told us? Why don’t you tell them that the media is controlled by Jews, that the word ‘British’ is a Jewish word?
“If someone attacks your house, you have a right to defend what is rightfully yours. We follow the way of the Prophet. We will defend Islam. We will defend the Koran.”
Khalid Masud, the chairman of Pakistan’s widely respected Council of Islamic Ideology, despairs that medieval thinking still dominates Islamic discourse and acts as a rigid barrier against integration in Britain.
He was “saddened but not surprised” to read a sermon in which Riyadh ul Haq, a leading Deobandi preacher, urged British Muslims not to make friends with Jews or Christians.
“This is a very normal thing that you hear in sermons here as well. He is not in a minority. They are in the Koran and in our literature, but the historical circumstances have changed,” he said.
That's as maybe, but the Koran is supposed to be the unchanging word of Allah, so what was good enough for a 7th century paedophile is good enough for today.
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Posted on 09/08/2007 2:07 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Friday, 07 September 2007
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"All praise is due to Allah, who built the heavens and earth in justice, and created man as a favor and grace from Him. And from His ways is that the days rotate between the people, and from His Law is retaliation in kind: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and the killer is killed. And all praise is due to Allah, who awakened His slaves' desire for the Garden, and all of them will enter it except those who refuse. And whoever obeys Him alone in all of his affairs will enter the Garden, and whoever disobeys Him will have refused."

"As for what comes after: Peace be upon he who follows the Guidance. People of America: I shall be speaking to you on important topics which concern you, so lend me your ears. I begin by discussing the war which is between us and some of its repercussions for us and you."

Counterterroism blog has the rest here.

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Posted on 09/07/2007 5:53 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Friday, 07 September 2007
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I dunno about Arab leaders, but it's a fairly popular practice among fugitives who've been on the lam for a decade or so.

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Posted on 09/07/2007 4:35 PM by Andy McCarthy
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Friday, 07 September 2007
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Weary, they rest. They have travelled. They are not used to this pace. And they need to whet their whistles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BypCgFbTeAI

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Posted on 09/07/2007 3:17 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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